Kirkcaldy High School News 25 January 2019

Archived news: published on Friday 25 Jan 2019 by Fife Council

Dear Parent/Carer

I do hope that our regular message finds you well. Here is the news …

This week has been a busy one, with Ms Mahr and our Rwanda pupils fund raising along at Sainsbury’s last Saturday. Their bag-packing raised over £700 which goes towards our visit to Rwanda in October and to support the work of the Comfort Rwanda charity. Well done all!

We had meningitis vaccinations for some S3 pupils on Monday. We also had additional practical SQA exams taking place in Hospitality on Monday and Wednesday and we have had our first assemblies of the year. These were House assemblies but not arranged to the usual pattern. Because of competing demands on the Hall, the Adam Smith assembly was this morning rather than the usual Tuesday slot. The assemblies have had a single theme. To mark World Holocaust Memorial Day, Nicole MacDonald and Katie Brown (both S6) gave an excellent illustrated talk about their trip to Auschwitz in Poland, which they undertook at the end of last year, supported by the Holocaust Memorial Trust. Nicole and Katie shared photographs and told the story of the Nazi death camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau. I have to say that it was very moving, with the personal stories having a real impact. There is no place for racism or religious intolerance in our world … and I thank Nicole and Katie for reminding us so poignantly.

On Tuesday, we had all S1 taking part in a “Speedy STEM” event in the Hall with each house out for a 2 period slot. The theme was team work and problem solving skills in the context of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. Many thanks to our friends from Fife College, who supported this event.

In the evening, Mr Young and I were at Valley Primary and Fair Isle for our second round of Primary 7 “Roadshows”. Many thanks to the KHS young people who joined us to speak about the KHS experience. These were very well attended and we got good feedback from the parents and carers who came along. Please be aware that time is ticking for those from outwith our usual catchment who intend to make a placing request to attend KHS from August. Mr Young, Mrs Hunter and I have been looking at potential numbers in the new S1 and it looks like we may well be full up. Our overall school roll is showing a sharp rise.

On Wednesday evening, Mrs Simpson (Head of Music) and I went along to Balwearie High School for the Rotary Club Young Musician Competition. Well done to Cameron Hamilton (cornet), Cara Hayes (vocal) and Fiona Mundwiler (violin), who competed against musicians from the other Kirkcaldy schools and performed to a very high standard. I am delighted to say that Cara won the vocal section and Fiona was runner-up in the instrumental. Both girls are now through to the next round takes place at Kinross in March.

Yesterday saw our S4 “First Chances” candidates spending the day along at St Andrews University delivering their talks and presentations in front of an audience. Many thanks to Mrs Hunter (Guidance) and Mr Dick (Chemistry) for their commitment to this excellent programme. In the afternoon, Miss McIntosh (Principal Teacher of Equity) took three of our S4 Dance students along to an afternoon of Dance Workshops at Armadale Academy, near Bathgate. The sessions were led by professional dancers/choreographers from the renowned Pineapple Dance down in London. Miss McIntosh accompanied Rachael Barclay, Ellie Cunningham and Eryn Newsome, who all took part in the Contemporary Dance Workshop and a Commercial/Hip-Hop Workshop. It was very informative, energetic and fun, and overall a positive learning experience and opportunity. I am informed that the girls worked extremely hard and represented KHS to the highest standard (photo).

Also yesterday, Mr Broadway (Head of Supported Learning) delivered a presentation to ten Fife Councillors on the theme of childhood adversity and how young people are supported in Fife and Scotland. He also showed the film ‘Be That Person’ and had a very positive conversation in relation to supporting those affected by trauma. The Fife film includes some of our young people.

Today, I had a wee chat with Kieron Bowie (S5). Yesterday, Kieron was signed up on a two year pro contract with Raith Rovers. Bill Clark, the Rovers Chairman, was in contact and we’ve agreed that after the exams in May, Kieron will become a full-time footballer. He currently does two mornings a week at Starks Park. Well done and best wishes to Kieron, who has already featured for the reserves and on the bench for the first team against Stenhousemuir.

We’ll be posting home the progress reports for all S2 students today. This will assist our young people with the course choice process which will be facing them shortly. Course choice details are also being distributed with the reports. These should be returned by Monday 4 February please.

This evening, Mrs Duckett (Music) and Mr McPherson (Drama) are attending a special concert by the RSNO at the Usher hall in Edinburgh with a group of our music students, the theme of the evening being “science fiction”. It sounds terrific fun.

Tomorrow we’ll have a special revision session for all subjects led by our Supported Learning staff. This is of particular value for the young people who have individual arrangements for exams eg extra time or a reader/scribe. Mr Broadway is discussing this with young people affected. It will be the first of our “Saturday School” sessions.

In sport this week we’ve had: KHS 0 - 5 Glenwood (Girls' football), KHS 39 - 28 Glenrothes (Senior Basketball). Many thanks to all staff supporting our teams.

Next week looks just as busy with Yeargroup Assemblies on the theme of Teenage Mental Health. We’ll also have particular inputs on different days, with Edinburgh University staff talking to S2 about course choice and St Andrews University in on Friday to talk to the S5 about the Sutton Trust Summer School programme. Also on Friday, the Anthony Nolan Trust will be recruiting potential bone marrow donors from S5/6. Many thanks to our “Learning Council” members and other S6 volunteers, who have agreed to become “champions” of this worthy cause. Also at the assemblies, I will highlight the recent drug related incident at Dunfermline High School and urge our young people to be alert to the danger of drugs in school and to take care of themselves.

At lunchtime on Tuesday, our “Youth Speaks” public speaking team are along at the Rotary Club of Kirkcaldy lunch, at the Dean Park Hotel, to give a talk. This will be good practice for the next round of this important UK wide competition, which takes place at Stirling University in March. Best wishes to Umar Mohammed, Cara Hayes and Morgan Faulds. In the evening we are holding a special parent/carer evening for S1. It’s all about “Growth Mindset” and focuses on encouraging reading and literacy skills. Many thanks to Ms Cunningham and the English team who have set this up.

On Wednesday we’ll have our outdoor learning group at Falkland Estate once again and in the afternoon, Ms Mahr has organized for a guest speaker from the Humanist Society of Scotland to address S2 RME classes.

On Thursday, all S4 will have a study skills session with Live’n’Learn, a well-established education and training agency. In the evening, a group of staff and pupils will be attending a special reception at the Scottish Parliament to mark the beginning of LGBT History Month. We have been invited by Jenny Gilruth, the MSP for Mid Fife and Glenrothes, in recognition of our inclusive practice in this area.

The week ends with a further Live’n’Learn session, this time for S5 students. We are hopeful that these will help our young people become more “exam ready”.  Next Saturday’s study school is Health and Food Technology and History.

Next week's canteen hot meal menu is as follows:

Monday: Lentil soup, Macaroni Cheese, chips, vegetables

Tuesday: Tomato soup, Red Thai Chilli Beef and noodles with vegetables

Wednesday: Minestrone soup, Pork sausage casserole, potatoes and vegetables

Thursday: French onion soup, Roast Beef, Potatoes and vegetables

Friday: Leek and potato soup, Breaded fish/Steakbake, chips, peas.

We also have baked potatoes, pizza, pasta, sandwiches and salad available every day as well as our outdoor snack bar. Please do be aware that we offer a free cup of soup with bread for all our young people, regardless of their “free school meals” status. We also have our "Breakfast Club" available from 8.10am and this is free to those facing hardship (it costs 44p otherwise). We have cereal, toast and jam and juice on offer. We are delighted to receive support from Stephens the Bakers, who are the official sponsors of our Breakfast Club.

Looking ahead, please be reminded that we are closed to pupils on Wednesday 13 February for in-service training for staff. Thursday 14 and Friday 15 February are then the mid-term holidays.

Please do get involved in the ongoing public consultation about the future of Templehall Community Centre. There are exciting plans for redevelopment and an exhibition has been set up at the Centre. Other plans include a “pop up” van and a family fun day on Thursday 14 February (our mid term break). Get your voice heard.

We have been fortunate so far this winter in terms of severe weather. However, we’ll all recall the “Beast from the East” and will need to be prepared. You can check out Fife Council’s best advice here: There is also the opportunity to sign up for a text alert in the event that we have to close for any reason. Follow the link on the “Winter” page. I would also advise you to make use of Twitter to keep up to date with all sorts of KHS news, including weather alerts or closure information. You can follow us @KirkcaldyHigh

As I mentioned in respect of our forthcoming assemblies, we are well aware of the terrible incident at Dunfermline High School last Friday when a significant number of pupils took a drug (said to be valium or similar) at lunchtime. Several required medical treatment and four of them were taken to Victoria Hospital. I would ask that you find time to discuss this case with your son/daughter. It was an exceptionally reckless thing for these young people to have done. I suspect they hadn’t appreciated how dangerous their actions were. These are the points I’ll make at assembly.

Best wishes to you. Take care … and do have a Braw Burns Nicht!

Derek Allan


25 January 2019

Kirkcaldy High School - Headteacher
Tel: 01592 583405 Contact Kirkcaldy High School - Headteacher online
By Post: Kirkcaldy High School Dunnikier Way Kirkcaldy Fife KY1 3LR
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